Rafael Nadal has accused Nick Kyrgios of a lack of respect after suffering defeat at the hands of the Australian at the Acapulco International.
Kyrgios saved three match points against the top seeded Spaniard in the second round of the tournament in Mexico to record a 3-6, 7-6(2), 7-6(6) win which also saw him serve under-arm against his rival.
“He is a player who has enormous talent,” Nadal told ESPN after the loss. “He could win Grand Slams and fight the top positions of the ranking, but there is a reason why he is where he is.
“He lacks respect for the public, the rival and towards himself.”
Kyrgios has slumped to world No 72 having climbed to a career high of 13 in October 2016. The 23-year-old fell to the floor in celebration after his win over Nadal, before sticking a finger behind his ear and asking the raucous crowd to cheer louder.
Nadal, who has won the tournament in Mexico twice, took only one of his 10 break point chances and failed to put the match away despite leading 6-3 in the final set tiebreak before Kyrgios reeled off five straight points.
After dropping the first set, Kyrgios called for the trainer and said that he felt sick but would play on as he feared the media would “blow it up”.
He returned to the court for the second set and immediately looked a different player.
At one stage a frustrated Nadal called for the crowd to quieten down, a request that received backing from Kyrgios, who screamed “shut up” together with an expletive, an outburst that brought him a warning from the umpire.
After calling for the trainer again between the second and third sets due to a sore back, Kyrgios then saved five break points in the sixth game of the final set.
He got out of jail again in the deciding tiebreak, particularly on the second match point when his volley caught the tape but toppled over and landed on the line.